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Injury prevention among friends : the benefits of school connectedness

Chapman, Rebekah L., Buckley, Lisa, & Sheehan, Mary C. (2012) Injury prevention among friends : the benefits of school connectedness. In 11th International Conference of Injury Prevention & Safety Promotion, 1-4 October 2012, Wellington, New Zealand. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Background: Injury is a leading cause of adolescent death. Risk-taking behaviours, including unsafe road behaviours, violence and alcohol use, are primary contributors. Recent research suggests adolescents look out for their friends and engage in protective behaviour to reduce others’ involvement in risk-taking. A positive school environment, and particularly students’ school connectedness, is also associated with reduced injury-risks.

Aim: This study aimed to understand the role of school connectedness in adolescents’ intentions to protect and prevent their friends from involvement in alcohol use, fights, drink driving and unlicensed driving. Method: Surveys were completed by 540 13-14 year old students (49% male). Four sequential logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine whether school connectedness statistically predicted intentions to protect friends from injury-risk behaviours. Gender and ethnicity were entered at step 1, students’ own risk behaviour at step 2, and school connectedness scores at step 3 for all analyses.

Results: School connectedness significantly predicted intentions to protect friends from all four injury-risk behaviours, after accounting for the variance attributable to sex, ethnicity and adolescents’ own involvement in injury-risks.

Significance: School connectedness is negatively associated with adolescents’ own injury-risk behaviours. This research extends our knowledge of this critical protective factor, as it shows that students who are connected to school are also more likely to protect their friends from alcohol use, violence and unsafe road behaviours. School connectedness may therefore be an important factor to target in school-based prevention programs, both to reduce adolescents’ own injury-risk behaviour and to increase injury prevention among friends.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 54992
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Keywords: adolescent, injury prevention, school connectedness, peer protection
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 The Authors
Deposited On: 21 Nov 2012 09:51
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2013 09:41

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